What costs are involved in Homecare?
Your local council’s social work team are obliged to perform an assessment of your care needs if you request it. If they agree that you need care, they will undertake a financial assessment. Taking your income and savings – but not the value of your home – into account, the financial assessment will establish whether you qualify for financial assistance from the state.
There are several ways that care can be funded. In some cases local councils, general practitioners (GP’s) or Clinical Commissioning Groups will pay all or part of the costs of care. In England and Wales people may be required to make a financial contribution to their package of care.
Once the council has decided that you have eligible needs for care, they will discuss with you how these can be met. What happens next depends on where you are in the UK and on your local council. The council may provide your care itself, or ask an approved agency to provide it on their behalf. Or the council may offer you a personal budget – a notional amount to spend – which would give you more choice and control over your care. This could also be spent using a direct payment – cash given to you by the council to arrange your own care.
Instead of a direct payment, you could ask the council to buy council services or services from a homecare provider for you, using your personal budget. Finally, you or your family can fund your own care, without state assistance, and use a local homecare agency privately to provide care, or add to the care the council provides. VAT is not usually charged on homecare services so it is important to check if fees quoted by providers include VAT or not.